Spontaneity: FAIL

I’m not an artist.  A lot of that may be because I can’t make a straight line in Microsoft Paint.  Or I’m just not very good at making art.  I’ll blame Microsoft.

Behold!  It’s my detailed route of activities that Elle and I never planned to do today.  Sure, it looks like a really crappy rendering of the Washington, D.C. metro systems map and it’s a map of a totally different city, but upon first inspection one might just say “Uh…WTF?” much like I did on my first ever trip on the DC Metro.  Moving on…


Orange Line:  After wrapping and sealing some friends’ packages of goodies that are bound for Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, I convinced Elle to come with me to Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville to go picture-takin’.  She thought it was a fantastic idea!  And it was so fantastic, in fact, that I totally pushed aside the trip to the post office and the bank (I got your check payment right here, Visa, so shut it!) and made the executive decision to drive directly to the Gardens, a little over 2 hours away.  I didn’t make it out of Jacksonville’s city limits before the TPMS light on my car started screaming Terror Alert Threatcon 5!!!!!!!  I pulled over and checked the tires.  They’re perfectly fine.  Upon realizing how poor my attitude had become, I noticed I was hungry and made yet another executive decision to stay in town, grab a bite to eat, and head to another local State Park called Kingsley Plantation.  (Hunger turns me into a completely intolerable crank of a person…)

Green Line:  Whattaburger!  After eating two chicken strips kids’ meals, Elle and I buckled in for another 40 minute drive back to the other side of town and then some.  I had never been to Kingsley Plantation and neither had Elle.  Once I turned into the park entrance, the pavement became gravel and the car (a little Hyundai with a TPMS problem) bumped and jerked over rocks and potholes for approximately 2.5 to 3 miles.  Halfway through this little trek in the backwoods, Elle said, “This isn’t working out so well, Mommy.  My tummy is sick from all the rumbling.” I would have turned around then and there but it was a single lane dirt road surrounded by swamps and marsh and man-eating gators and there was no room.  So I put all the windows down and turned the radio up high, to drown out the “rumbling”, and we sang Adam Ant’s Goody Two Shoes to distract her from her belly ache.  It worked. After we finally arrived at the Plantation we tried to make the best of it.  We were both freezing cold and she was still feeling sick in her stomach.  This is not how I planned on spending my Saturday, but we both got some pretty amazing photographs.

main living quarters

inside a hollow tree

Purple Line:  I eventually realized that Elle’s tummy was going to have to endure the road out of the park.  Bribery always works.  If you feel well enough once we get to the main road, I’ll drive you down to Justice since you have your cash with you and you can buy yourself something.  How’s that sound?”  Oh, that sounded great.  However, the parking lot at the St. Johns Towne Center was designed by a complete idiot who has no regard for anyone’s safety, drivers or pedestrians.  I hate that place.  Mommy, thank you for driving me here!  I’ll spoil you tonight because you’re doing this for me.  Oh, yes.  YES YOU WILL.  Did I mention how much I hate that place?

Yellow Line:  6 hours after we left home to drive to Gainesville, we returned.  We never made it out of Duval County.  Neither did my packages to Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.  And my Visa payment is still due.   

The TPMS light finally turned off  and Elle’s tummy is all better.  That’s good, right?


About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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